As I travel, I send emails to many of my friends and family with updates on my trip. I so enjoy traveling solo as I have the time and flexibility to change plans at a whim without lots of discussion. Many times I have changed direction travelling, changed plans and being by myself, it is really easy to do this. No one to blame if I make a bad choice or decision. When I head off to a new country, I do very little research beforehand.
I get off the plane with my travel book and tablet and start going. For me, it works to only make hotel reservations for those few nights when I arrive in a country if it is a long plane ride. After that, I find my accommodations as I go. I just came back from India. All I can say is I cannot wait to go back.
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Such a huge country and so much to do and see. I have enough money to travel the way I do as it is not expensive. Before I would rent out my house for the five months, but after a bad experience, I decided to leave my nephew there and travel without worries. So, I did not need to save money as usually it is cheaper to travel than to stay in North Vancouver for the winter season.
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I have pensions that I use to travel and that covers the costs. The most expensive is usually the airfare to my destination and home. Merrilee traveled by train across India. The train pulls in and we all scramble, sometimes in the dark, to find our car number then seat or bench. On my last train ride, three guys were all on my lower seat, so I moved along to another compartment and joined a family and warmed the kids up to this grandma. The little gal, about four, was talking to me as though I understood everything.
So, I just made up things to answer, and we had great fun. Lots of smiles and laughter.
The train food is very cheap, but one must be careful not to try it all. Who knows where it has been prepared. I do have difficulties seeing the abuse of the dogs in many countries.
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The mange, broken bones, lack of water and food for mostly the street dogs just pulls at my heart strings. Maybe another struggle or difficulty is getting ready to leave my place for four to five months. Making sure I have thought of everything to pack and also taking care of what may need attention when I am away.
I am learning that I am always a little anxious when I first head off to a new country, but when I land and start travelling that nervousness goes away. Stepping out of my comfort zone and leaping into the great unknown of a new country is always a mixture of emotions.
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What advice would you have for aspiring travelers over age 60? Any tips for overcoming fear? I am still asking people what they are afraid of! So many of my friends say they are living vicariously through me as I travel. Why they do not get off the couch and do it themselves is a mystery. Sometimes, it is health or not enough money, but in most cases, they say they are afraid and that I am so brave.
For me, it is a challenge, but I have life-changing experiences. I meet a few other solo women around my age when traveling but not many. Not sure what this means, but sometimes people say that I will get mugged, raped, robbed. Actually at this age, the locals are very respectful of me and helpful. Having traveled for quite a few years now by myself, I have learned more travel smarts. I am very fit, energetic and active for my age so very little holds me back from experiencing it all out there.
A West Hampstead journalist creates a globe trotting Granny to take the gloom out of dementia. Email this article to a friend To send a link to this page you must be logged in. Travels with My Granny illustrations for a book by Juliet Rix.
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